As a professional blogger for a variety of industries and markets, I often get asked how much call-to-action (CTA) is “too much” or “too little?” The best answer I can give for this is that it all depends on how many words are on the page or how far your post visually sweeps down the page. That being said, zero CTA is definitely not enough if you are blogging for the purpose of generating leads. In marketing, a call-to-action is an instruction to the reader designed to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb such as “call now”, “find out more” or “visit” today.” In essence, CTA conveys a sense of “urgency” or “excitement.”
Overall, call-to-action is an essential component for generating leads and without it, you will have a more difficult time converting your coveted website traffic. So, let’s clear up any confusion and debunk any myths about how to add or not add or add too much CTA to your blog posts below:
Some bloggers are hesitant about adding call-to-action to their posts altogether. They are afraid it will interfere with a positive user experience or sully up their amazing article and make it appear too much like marketing fodder or beggarish. All I can say is that you just need to get over that fear. Users, who are active on the Internet, are used to seeing CTA. They’ve also found your page because they’re already interested in the product, service or topic you are blogging about. They won’t be offended or turned off if you’ve inserted CTA into your article where deemed appropriate, which we’ll get into in more detail.
Zero CTA will Cost You
It’s a huge oversight to not include smart CTA within your blog posts and one that will cost you in conversion. Although this may sound like a no-brainer to a seasoned blogger or professional marketer, I come across scores of posts that have no CTA in them at all. It’s as if this important component of blogging has all been forgotten or deemed unnecessary. Some bloggers are under the assumption that having a contact phone number or email address located somewhere on their website is sufficient enough, which is simply not the case.
The truth is that site visitors will rarely take the time to look around for contact information or take action on it if it isn’t directly in front of their nose. It’s too much bother. They will also rarely pick up the phone or bother filling out a contact form unless requested to do so, maybe even several times as they read or skim through your post. If you want lead generation, and I’m sure you do or you wouldn’t be reading this article, you need to be proactive with CTA and ask your site visitors to contact you — and definitely more than once on the page.
Balance, Word Count & Visual Length
How many CTA prompts to include in your blog post, without it sounding like an infomercial, depends on several factors such as content quality, word count, and visual length of the overall post. If your post is filled with quality, information-rich content, there will be enough meat and potatoes so-to-speak to balance out your CTA prompts. The converse of that is a post that is all “sizzle” and no steak (substance) which is a big turnoff no matter how you look at it. Word count is another barometer for CTA. A general rule of thumb is at least two prompts for a 500-word post and around 3 to 4 prompts for a post that is 800 – 1,500 words or more.
Below is a link to a real estate post I recently wrote about Scottsdale homes for sale. It is a fairly long post both in both word count and visual length as it includes property results that run down the page. If you take the time to skim through the post, you will find at least 5 different CTA prompts. There ‘s also enough substance (relevant information) in the article to balance out the prompts with it sounding like CTA overkill.
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(See how easy that was!) Mind you, this is not a hard science, but for the most part, you can get away with up to 4 to 5 CTAs in a longer post without affecting the “overall “integrity” of your article. The end goal here is to generate leads and if you always keep that in the back of your mind when flushing out a blog post, you won’t be shy about adding needed CTA. Lastly, if your post contains images, infographics, property listings, charts, maps, etc., or you are working within narrow formatting margins, your post may not have a large word count, yet be visually lengthy. In that case, you will probably be able to add more CTA prompts than a post that might have a higher word count. It really all depends on how the overall post looks when all is said and done.
Below is another article I recently wrote with narrow margin formatting. As you will see, it has actually more CTA prompts because of the visual length of the post. However, there is also enough relevant information or substance within the post to carry it off.
Bottom of the Post CTA
ALWAYS insert CTA at the bottom of your blog posts. You’ve just finished flushing out an amazing article filled with valuable information and now you have the “perfect opportunity” to prompt your reader to either pick up the phone and call you, buy your product or service, fill out your online contact form, download your ebook, e-course, or whatever. I will say this again, don’t ever expect your reader to “hunt down” your contact information even if they really like your content because 9 times out of 10 they won’t take the time to do it.
Social Media CTA
The bottom of the page is also the ideal location to include Social media CTA buttons. Make it as easy as possible for your readers to follow you on social media by creating a call-to-action for each of your social media. If all your reader has to do is click a button to follow you on social media, they will be more likely to do it.
Blog Subscription CTA
If your readers are interested in your content, they may also want to subscribe to your blog so they can be alerted via email when you post new content. Make the CTA for subscribing to your blog as easy to fill out as possible. If you just need an email address, only ask for the email address. Making the process fast and painless for your blog visitors increases the likelihood that they’ll actually fill out the form and give you the information you need.
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If you’re curious about any of the above and how we can help you create a more successful blog post or, better yet, write your blog articles for you, give us a call today or send us an email!
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